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April 28, 2013

Pajama Day

I hate cleaning when it's cloudy or dreary out. Seems opposite doesn't it? I love to clean when the sun is shining through the cat nose printed windows (obviously I don't do them) on to the freshly steam-cleaned oak floor.

Did some light cleaning today, in spite of it being gray and rainy. Vacuumed, cleaned the stove top with its special cleaner, ran the dishwasher (that hardly qualifies as work), scrubbed out the sinks with baking soda, washed the bacon grease off the tea kettle. (Why do I say tea kettle instead of just kettle?) Tried to fix my wonky silverware drawer. Rolled up the hallway rug for the summer.

Feel like rearranging furniture or something.

Maybe I'll get out the carpet cleaner and work on the cat grass puke stain in the guest bedroom.

But that sounds like too much work for a dreary pajama day.

Baseball, Art, and The Magic of Saltines and Coke

Went to a Durham Bulls game Friday night. The company I work for bought a sky box for five games to entertain clients and friends. (Nice!) The Bulls won AND there were fireworks after the game!

I ate too much popcorn or crack cheese, (what we call the jalapeno pimento cheese concoction made by Susan's husband), or M&Ms or quite possibly all of the above, because I did not feel well when I got home. (only drank water, so couldn't blame on alcohol)


That feeling lingered all night and into morning, so much so that I drove to the store at 7:30 AM to get saltines and a co-cola to settle my stomach; I did not want to miss the Saturday plans.

Steffi and I were driving up to Richmond, VA, Steffi being on her way to Maryland for the month of May for Baby Watch 2013, which will hopefully turn into Helping with Baby in very early May.
With the coke and saltines working their magic (what is that?!), we dropped off Solo (sniff, sniff) and headed up to Virginia.

We met Diane and Susan who drove up separately (they were my ride home) at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and proceeded to have a fine day. We were there to see the Ted Wesselmann "Pop Art" exhibit, but first things first - lunch. Of the two cafes in the museum, we chose Amuse.

Needless to say, I was feeling much better.

There's a burger and blue cheese under the egg.




You say creme caramel, I say flan. Either way, delicious.




















From the balcony of the restaurant we could see the Chihuly water garden.
More of that later.

Clandestine photo (name withheld to protect the guilty)
















The exhibit was great; enjoyed seeing the evolution of his work.




Another guilty photo (my favorite)
Then we had to send Steffi on her way (more sniff, sniff) - for a whole month!

We wandered through the rest of the museum. They had one of Kehinde Wiley's paintings (discovered him at the 30 Americans exhibit at the NC Museum of Art). This is not the one they had, but this is why I love him.

Another photo by she who shall remain nameless
My favorite gallery in the museum: Art Deco. The jewelry! The pottery! The furniture! 

Brooches of opals the size of baby fists dangling giant gleaming pearls. Chokers with diamonds (meh), garnets, enamel. Buckles in the shape of peacock feathers or dragonflys; horned beetle mirrors. The most glorious swirly drawer pulls; pottery teapots in the shape of sea urchins. Chests and chairs and dressers and desks made from deliciously grained walnut and cherry wood. The Tiffany window (this is not a good representation), lamps, vases, necklaces. Bronze ink wells in the shape of a crab or a woman wrestling with an octopus (okay, that one was a little weird). Diane and Susan left me in there enraptured while they looked at the Impressionists, then we headed outside for a closer look at the Chihuly garden.


Reflection in museum window
Last photo of the day

You know the kind of tired you get after being at the beach all day and you're a little wind/sunburned? That's the kind of tired I was. The grateful-for-good-friends kinda tired. The laughed-so-hard-I-cried kinda tired.
The happy-but-can't-wait-to-get-home kind of tired. 

April 21, 2013

Since You're Wondering

I'm sure you have been...

The Y-DNA and mtDNA tests have backed up the Ancestry.com test.

From Africa my mother's forebearers (Haplogroup H) marched up through Central Europe over to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Read a BBC article on the mtDNA testing of ancient skeletons here.
I'm betting we are either subclade H1 or H3 - the first and second most common subclades of the H group. Should you wish to learn more, read this.

Determining the subclade is another damn test.

My father's peeps (Haplogroup R1b - most common haplogroup in Western Europe) did much the same; a slightly different route though Central Europe to Denmark, then popped over to the British Isles (more than 80% of  people in the Scottish Highlands, Ireland, and Wales have the R1b marker). Read more here.
As with the mtDNA, the Y-DNAsubclade test is more dollars.

The "uncertain" 2% is still unsolved...


This and That

This: It's chilly out this morning, 46 according to my temp widget. As I write this at 9:37 AM (EDT), I have socks and a robe on. I am NOT complaining (really, I like cooler weather), merely reporting.

And that: The Chapel Hill Library has completed its revamp. Here's our brick:

Photo courtesy of J. G.

This: Yesterday we had a "Grandma Shower" for one of our own awaiting the arrival of her first grandchild. It's a whole new Hallmark card/wrapping paper/gift genre. We should copyright the idea. 

I highly recommend it; why (you may well ask)? 
Well, alcohol (gin slushies!) is allowed, and there's no food restrictions (except gluten, but that's standard practice with us). Best of all, there's no labor length/pain level / episiotomy competitions. (one of the reasons I've boycotted the regular type baby showers for years) 

And that: Planted some cat grass which the cats LOVE like it's candy. 
How do they repay me for planting said grass for them? By puking on the white carpet in the bedroom. 

Warning: graphic content



This: The winter to summer clothes and shoe swap has been completed. I wore these Born Concept shoes pretty much all winter: 
a.k.a. "man shoes"
They're so comfortable I bought two pair (brown and black). Now when I put on other shoes, my feet say "What the hell is going on?!", even to my previously favored Keen shoes.  
Seriously paring down the shoes because someone recently said I had a lot of shoes (26 pair), which in my brain equals "must purge"! 
It's really not a lot of shoes (I know someone who has over 100 pair), when you consider some are dress, some are strictly summer (sandals) or winter (boots). But it did put it into my head that being attached to shoes that are not comfortable or that I didn't wear at least once last year are O.U.T.
See? Even my purge oriented brain needs a reminder from time to time.

And finally, that: We haven't had any music lately. Here's Blue Hawaii "Try to Be":


April 14, 2013

How In the World

Has it been almost a month since I last posted?! Guess I don't have much to say, unless, of course, you want to hear about DNA results.

Without my mother's antics, I fear I am very dull indeed.

Speaking of Mom, the year anniversary is really an amazing thing; I'm much less prone to spontaneous waterworks. Yesterday I did get a bit teary driving past all the redbuds in bloom along 15/501. She would have said they were pretty about nine hundred times. 

We are having our two days of spring here in NC as evidenced by this:


And this:

The weather this weekend has been perfect - cool in the morning (mid 40's - 50's), 70's in the afternoon. 
The air smells crisp and fresh - sun dried sheets and grass. Yes, lawn mowing season is upon us already. 

Yesterday afternoon, several of us went to funky Ninth Street for a look at Zola Craft Gallery, popped into Vaguely Reminiscent (pink sunglasses!), then walked a few blocks down Iredell Street, (people waving from their cute Craftsmen porches), to a photography exhibit opening at Craven Allen
It was crowded and hot in there, but what I saw of the exhibit was great. We sauntered down a few storefronts to The Palace International for some African food. Sat outside, people watching, enjoying great food. 

On the building next door was this bit of graffiti:


It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.